The Regiment Today
 
 

We are a living history group composed of men, women and children who are dedicated to educating ourselves and the public about life during the Revolutionary War era (1770s and 1780s). We try to recreate life in the 18th Century as faithfully as possible by using our diversified talents to retrace the steps of American colonists and their French allies. In our activities,  we portray two distinct historical groups: the 85ème Régiment de Saintonge of the French Line and the 4th Middlesex Militia of Massachusetts. As a group, our priorities are safety, providing appropriate and enjoyable roles for the whole family, and maintaining the authenticity of our portrayal. If you have an interest in the early history of the United States or 18th century military history, we offer you an outlet for your creative historical energies.

As the 85ème Régiment de Saintonge, we portray one of the five French regiments under the command of Le Comte de Rochambeau that played a decisive role in achieving the allied victory at Yorktown and gaining American independence. Our uniforms and equipment are carefully researched and reproduced to exacting specifications.


Our research has taken members of the regiment to the military museum in Paris, and included translation of original French documents, including the 1779 uniform regulations. Our military maneuvers are also based on translated French regulations, and the officers give commands in French. At the Bicentennial of the Battle of Yorktown, the Régiment de Saintonge was recognized as the most outstanding participating unit and was so honored by being selected to lead the formal Presidential Military Review before Presidents Reagan and Mitterand. We think this is an appropriate reflection of honors won by the Régiment de Saintonge in 1781, which earned distinction as "le premier dans la place" (first place).

As the 4th Middlesex Militia, we portray a "mid-war" (1778) civilian militia. We use the mixed civilian and military clothing and equipment that was available to militia units in that period of the Revolution. In this role, we represent the citizen soldier part of the Continental Army that was organized to perform garrison and guard duties, as well as fighting in actual engagements, in our case mostly along the Hudson River Valley.

In addition, we have a close affiliation with the Sudbury Companies of Minute and Militia, and many of our members are also active in that unit. In this way, we believe that we offer those who wish to explore and recreate the Revolutionary War era a unique opportunity. You can portray the pre-war days as a member of a town militia, firing the first shots of war at the North Bridge in Concord. As the war progresses, you can recreate a state sponsored militia in the form of the 4th Middlesex Militia. As the war draws to its climax, you can relive the French army of Rochambeau, striking the final blow to British domination of the colonies as a member of the Régiment de Saintonge.

Both because it is an authentic part of the history of the times and because we are a family- oriented group, our living history organization includes authentically attired women and children who recreate 18th century camp life. Cooking, spinning, weaving, candlemaking and basket weaving are among the demonstrations of 18th century life and crafts that men and women of the Regiment perform. Our children are actively involved and can be seen helping with chores and at play. The encampment portrays actual 18th century experiences. In all our clothing and equipment, we strive for authenticity by constantly researching and improving our guidelines regarding styles, fabric, colors and accessories. Come join us and gain a whole new perspective on life in the 18th century and the founding of our nation.